Want to have a stripped lion in your aquarium? Look for a lionfish that offers a nice feast to eyes. It is very colorful and bright with its strips and fins.
This colorful fish is usually found near coral reefs of tropical Indo-Pacific region. They are found in or near caves and crevices. Lionfish can now is found in the Eastern Coast of America. It is unclear how they have been able to established themselves there but one theory is that aquarium released specimens has started to propagate in the warm waters.
How lionfish got its name is disputable. It looks more like a zebra or a spider, and not like a lion. It may be due to its controlled movement or due to the fact that they are fierce predators.
Turkey fish, Dragon fish and Scorpion fish are other names that are used for the lionfish. They have long separated spines and generally appear in red, brown or black stripes differentiate the lionfish from other lionfish species and individuals. Lionfish are brightly colored and very attractive. Its movement also gives the impression of caution in every movement, befitting a king.
It is not that long ago that people started keeping lionfish in domestic aquarium. But a large number of aquarium enthusiasts have started to keep lionfish in their aquarium since then. A variety of different lionfish species are available in the trade. A feathery lionfish, antennata fish, is named fire fish because of its ability to sting other fish, predators and even humans. Volitan lionfish, dwarf lionfish, dwarf fussy lionfish, fu-Manchu lionfish, radial lionfish etc are available from aquarium stores. Volitans is a very popular genus of lionfish and the most commonly kept. It is considered as the ultimate lionfish of marine aquaria.
Lionfish are hardy and show a great resistance towards diseases. They are mostly active during night all though they sometimes hunt during the day.
The spines are venomous. A stinging can cause severe pain and can be life threatening for people suffering from allergies. The first aid is to pour hot water over the stung place and seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Keep away from the lionfish when it shows aggressive behavior. It is not aggressive all the time. You should also take care while cleaning the aquarium walls. Lionfish will usually retreat to a safe place when they se your hand in the water and will thereby create a safe work environment for you. If you accidentally corner a lionfish, it will turn defensive. Another risk that may cause injury is if the lionfish attacks your hand thinking it is food. There is also a risk of injury while transferring the lionfish from one tank to another.
Lionfish needs a large well lit aquarium tank, 75 gallon/280L or more water to allow the lionfish free movement. The aquarium should keep a temperature of 75-79 F/24-26C and a salinity of 1.027
There are no reports of successful breeding of lionfish in captivity
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